UK: Value of gaining a degree plummets

One-third of graduates are receiving no financial benefit from their degree as young people drawn in by Labour's mass expansion of universities see the value of studying decline for the first time, writes Jack Grimston in the Sunday Times. A study has identified a widening gulf between the highest-paid graduates, whose degrees have brought them soaring returns over the past decade, and those at the lower end.

Among male graduates, 33.2% end up in non-graduate jobs five years after leaving university, from 21.7% in 1992. The proportions for women are similar. These graduates now earn 40% less than if they had found a job where a degree was necessary.

"This is the first real sign the tide is turning," said Francis Green, professor of economics at Kent University, who led the research. "If you are coming into university with not very good qualifications and do an arts degree at a low-ranked university, you are not really doing yourself any favours." Official data, to be published in the Sunday Times University Guide, show there are many institutions where more than 40% of those leaving do not find degree-level jobs.
Full report on the Sunday Times site